At times in my career, I have questioned my faith and feared that my efforts were not making the intended difference. Maybe you have too? Is all the effort, planning, and preparation truly helping the students? Since the efforts of a teacher are not quantifiable or not always easily recognized, our faith in what we do can be questioned.
However, something happened over the weekend that certainly strengthened my faith in the power and influence we have to impact our students.
So, every August, there is a big gathering of families that have a connection to an area near our school called Quinn Road. This reunion/picnic celebrates the rich cultural and historic value of Quinn Road (past, present, and future). For the past two years, the teachers have been invited to the event. We typically host some games and let children play and win prizes. Much fun is had as we mingle with current and former students, their parents, and others that might remember their time at Clintondale.
To start the afternoon, the DJ announced that the Clintondale teachers are here and all children should stop by and see Mike Ward to play the games. The very same announcement was heard by a former student that was in my U.S. History class back in 2003. It motivated her to stop by and say hello. She was going to take it easy on me and say her name on the approach but I stopped her thinking I could remember. After sharing a few stories I finally conceded. Jillian Mitchell was stopping by to say hello but also say thanks for always being so positive. She had never had the chance earlier but she took the time last weekend and her comments and positive recollections made my summer.
That is the kind of impact teachers make. So when your fear causes you to reconsider your faith, let this story strengthen your resolve. Teachers do great things and care for all students. Have faith that your efforts will always make a difference.
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Thanks for being amazing Jillian!